Category: 1960s

Memories of the 1960s – Shopping

Memories of the 1960s – Shopping

Shopping was confusing in the 1960s, even if you only had pocket money of one shilling to spend, as I did.

Threepenny Bit
Threepenny Bit

The old system of currency could be traced back to the Roman Empire and was based on the penny, symbolised by the letter ‘d’ for denari. Under this system, there were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound. Needless to say, for a kid whose mathematical skills were still developing, I needed one of my parents with me to shop for anything at all!

Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s – Shopping”

Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!

My new romantic spy novel Screaming Angels published!

To celebrate, I will be giving away one, signed copy  of Screaming Angels to my Newsletter readers in a competition on 16 October at 5pm BST. To sign up for the Newsletter before then, click here or go to the menu  at the top of this page.

Continue reading “Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!”

It’s Christmas: Nominate your Movie Turkey!

At the Earth's Core
At the Earth’s Core

It wouldn’t be Christmas without turkey and if indigestion hasn’t already set in, maybe there’s space for a bit more? What is your top nomination for movie Turkeys? It doesn’t have to be a Christmas movie but just one so bad that you either reach for the remote or fall asleep.

How to spot a Turkey Movie

Turkey movies can be hard to pick out: you often don’t remember their names or who’s in them. But of course if its a sequel or a remake it has a very good chance of being a Turkey! Some movies are so bad they are actually fun and good for a few laughs. These aren’t those movies. Continue reading “It’s Christmas: Nominate your Movie Turkey!”

Memories of the 1960s – Music

Memories of the 1960s – Music

The Small Faces
The Small Faces

In many ways, this is the hardest post I have made about the 1960s and it has taken me a long time to decide to make it. Many writers have tried and failed to capture the magic and disillusionment of 1960s music and I most surely must fail too. But that won’t stop me ‘taking a shot’ at it, as Americans like to say, or ‘having a go’ as Brits like to say.

I am not just talking about something in remote history when I talk about music from that era; I actually remember 1960s music. The first song I remember is Puppet on a String, which of course won the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest (yes, we had it then too!) for Sandie Shaw. I would have been 5 but I well remember the catchy tune blasting out of BBC Radio 1 on our little, blue radio set in the kitchen, or in my bedroom when I was sick, which was often. Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s – Music”

Poll: Which is the best Scifi Vehicle Ever?

Elevator vehicle under Fireflash from Thunderbirds
Elevator vehicle under Fireflash from Thunderbirds

Another great vote this week; which is the best scifi vehicle of all time?

The choice is HUGE but below are just a few suggestions to get you started. Please nominate your favourites by commenting here or tweet me @Lazlo_F or message me on Facebook. The nomination deadline will be 22 June at 5pm. Then we will vote!

Ein weiterer großer Stimme in dieser Woche; Welches ist das beste SciFi Fahrzeug aller Zeiten?

Die Auswahl ist riesig Gewinn Hier sind nur ein paar Vorschläge, um Ihnen den Einstieg. Bitte benennen Sie Ihre Favoriten von hier zu kommentieren oder tweet ich Lazlo_F gold Nachricht auf mich Facebook. Der Nominierungsfrist wird am 22. Juni 17.00 Uhr sein. Dann werden wir abstimmen! Continue reading “Poll: Which is the best Scifi Vehicle Ever?”

Competition: Can you name the 1960s toy?

To tie in with my recent series on Memories of the 1960s, I am running a competition. It won’t be easy but then my books are worth it! Name all five of the following correctly and win a free eBook of any of my published novels. Entries close at midnight GMT Sunday, 5 October 2014. Please comment with your entry to claim your prize!  There is a bonus object to win 2 eBooks!

1.

toy 1
toy 1

(car manufacturer and type)

Continue reading “Competition: Can you name the 1960s toy?”

Memories of the 1960s – School

Memories of the 1960s – School

Typical 1960s English school buildings
Typical 1960s English school buildings

Prepare to have all the myths of how school was Heaven in the 60s blasted away and for myths that it was Hell to be destroyed. This is what it was like for me.

I spent my school years, until the age of fourteen, in Buckinghamshire. Now, I am not saying the true-blue ultra-conservative Buckinghhamshire is backward but the last time I looked at the council’s website it had chains running down each side! That was back in the 90s. In the 60s, they were just about as blue as you can get and they certainly believed in giving every child’s sanity a run for its money.

The Bucks model of education was simple: your kid had to pass their eleven-plus exam to get a proper education. Anything else was failure and rewarded with being sent to a ‘secondary-modern,’ which in Bucks meant a school for dunces. There you would never get the chance to do O-Levels or A-Levels and you would certainly never go to University. So every day of your school life, you were having the message ‘Success is everything’ rammed down your throat. Unfortunately, the flip-side of this philosophy was the message that ‘your humanity is nothing.’ It was only many years later that we would all discover Hans Eysenick’s IQ-based formula for the eleven-plus exam was all based on fake research. Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s – School”

Memories of the 1960s – Shopping

Memories of the 1960s – Shopping

First of all, a heads up that Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate will be reduced to 99 cents from 4-8 July on Amazon. Please note, this is a Countdown deal so the price will gradually rise back up to $3.08 over a couple of days. Grab your copy while it is cheap!

Memories of the 1960s: Issue IV – Shopping

Shopping was confusing in the 1960s, even if you only had pocket money of one shilling to spend, as I did.

Threepenny Bit
Threepenny Bit

The old system of currency could be traced back to the Roman Empire and was based on the penny, symbolised by the letter ‘d’ for denari. Under this system, there were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound. Needless to say, for a kid whose mathematical skills were still developing, I needed one of my parents with me to shop for anything at all!

Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s – Shopping”

Daniel Keyes, author of Flowers for Algernon, has died.

New York Times – “Daniel Keyes, the author of “Flowers for Algernon,” the story of a man with an I.Q. of 68 who temporarily becomes a genius after surgery — a book that inspired the film “Charly,” starring Cliff Robertson — died on Sunday at his home in South Florida. He was 86.”

Read the full New York Times article.

I did a brief interview with Cliff, which you can read it on this blog. Stephen C Thompson, Cliff Robertson’s Press Agent, is making a documentary about the Academy Award winner’s life and the documentary will certainly discuss the film Charly. If you want to get involved in the film’s production hop over to the project ‘s Facebook page and give it a like!.

I reviewed both the novel Flowers for Algernon and the movie Charly on my blog in 2010.

Memories of the 1960s – Toys

Memories of the 1960s – Toys

Corgi Toys Buick Riviera
Corgi Toys Buick Riviera

I was born in 1962. The first 1960s toys I remember are a fluffy ball with a bell inside, a red, plastic American train and a ‘musical box’, about the size of a food can, with a crank on top. As you turned the crank, metal tongues were flicked inside, much like an African lamellaphone. It had pictures of the royal guards and Buckingham Palace painted on its sides. I don’t remember what the tune was. I also had a Playcraft plastic train set (see below). All these toys seemed to be around since a time before I could remember anything clearly.

Playcraft Train Set
Playcraft Train Set

The first 1960s toy I remember actually receiving was a motorised tank. My dad came home late one night (it was always late when he came home for a kid that was at nursery school!) and presented me with this thing that drove up and down a pile of books on its own! My dad showed me how to open a book and turn it upside down so that its spine formed the ridge of a hill. The tank could go over this too. Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s – Toys”